US Nursing Shortage (PART III)

Some of the key impacts of the nursing shortage:

  1. Nurses are constantly faced with life-changing decisions. Pandemic or not, having fewer nurses available to spread the workload adds stress levels and limits the time available for patient care. Among the implications:
    1. Opportunities to circumvent security protocols and lapses in treatment
    2. Less attention to detail increases the risk of medical errors
    3. risk of infections
    4. data security compromised
  2. The emergency services are full of patients who cannot be admitted due to lack of personnel in the units; some forced to overlook
  3. Healthcare organizations are desperate for staff to cover shifts, offer big bonuses and expect staff to constantly work overtime.
  4. Staffing agencies offering contracts at levels that dwarf doctors’ salaries
  5. A new group of nurses accustomed to compensation levels that will be impossible to maintain in an industry that serves everyone and currently employs almost 3 million of them, and will need another million in the next decade.

Add to this that many of the healthcare institutions compound the problem with their inadequate workforce plans (schedules, headcount multipliers, activity levels, etc.) and inconsistent recruitment and retention policies, driven by financial decisions made with Little understanding of clinical operations and based on old methodologies IT time and attendance vendors have carefully packaged their products that claim to provide metrics of staff needs but do nothing and only compound the problem.

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